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Federal government says lower train speeds will remain in effect

Last Updated Apr 24, 2015 at 6:45 am PDT

(Getty images)
Summary

Rail companies to stick to a 64 kilometres-per-hour speed limit

Transport Canada to increase number of inspections along key train routes

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Lower speed limits imposed for trains carrying dangerous goods through urban areas are remaining in place, for now.

The lower limits were adopted in October, following a report into the Lac Megantic disaster.

Rail companies will have to stick to a 64 kilometres-per-hour speed limit.

Canada’s transport minister also wants to increase the number of inspections and risk assessments along key routes.

New Wesminster City Councillor Chuck Puchmayr has been very vocal about the potential dangers that trains pose for cities and says while speeds are already low within his city, lower limits will increase safety in less dense parts of the region.

“It’s good news certainly for areas like the Fraser Valley. The slower you’re moving in the event of a derailment, the less damage there is and the lower the potential for the release of toxic materials.”

He notes the number of inspectors had dropped in the years leading up to the Quebec disaster.

“There needs to be an increase in the number of inspectors, so that we can have more of these rail cars and rail beds inspected independently of the railways.”

He says they’re still working with rail companies to have them disclose ahead of time what kinds of dangerous materials they are transporting.